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Estimation of Biomass Carbon Stocks over Peat Swamp Forests using Multi-Temporal and Multi-Polratizations SAR Data

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The capability of L-band radar backscatter to penetrate through the forest canopy is useful for mapping the forest structure, including above ground biomass (AGB) estimation. Recent studies confirmed that the empirical AGB models generated from the L-band radar backscatter can provide favourable estimation results, especially if the data has dual-polarization configuration. Using dual polarimetry SAR data the backscatter signal is more sensitive to forest biomass and forest structure because of tree trunk scattering, thus showing better discriminations of different forest successional stages. These SAR approaches, however, need to be further studied for the application in tropical peatlands ecosystem We aims at estimating forest carbon stocks and stand biophysical properties using combination of multi-temporal and multi-polarizations (quad-polarimetric) L-band SAR data and focuses on tropical peat swamp forest over Kampar Peninsula at Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia which is one of the most peat abundant region in the country.
Applying radar backscattering (Sigma nought) to model the biomass we found that co-polarizations (HH and VV) band are more sensitive than cross-polarization channels (HV and VH). Individual HH polarization channel from April 2010 explained > 86% of AGB. Whereas VV polarization showed strong correlation coefficients with LAI, tree height, tree diameter and basal area. Surprisingly, polarimetric anisotropy feature from April 2007 SAR data show relatively high correlations with almost all forest biophysical parameters. Polarimetric anisotropy, which explains the ratio between the second and the first dominant scattering mechanism from a target has reduced at some extent the randomness of scattering mechanism, thus improve the predictability of this particular feature in estimating the forest properties. These results may be influenced by local seasonal variations of the forest as well as moisture, but available quad-pol SAR data were unable to show these patterns, since all the SAR data were acquired during the rainy season.

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